I hinted in the game recap last night that it would be fun to watch an all Pirates line play for the Sabres. It looks like that might be a reality when the Sabres take on the Boston Bruins on Monday night. Maine Hockey Journal is reporting the Sabres have recalled Gerbe and Mancari and both will be in the lineup on Monday.
Gerbe and Mancari will join Tyler Ennis who played on Saturday against Tampa Bay and had two assists in the Sabres 7-1 win over the Lightning. Ennis played in place of Tim Connolly and centered Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville. It will be interesting to see how they are used in the lineup Monday. Lindy Ruff could use all three on the same line since they have played together in Portland but he may not because of their inexperience.
While all three have played in Buffalo this season, and enjoyed some success, there is no argument that Ennis has produced the most in his limited opportunities. He had two assists last night and he scored a goal in his first NHL game against Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving.
Follow the jump for stats and possible line combinations.
#63 / Center / Buffalo Sabres
Oct 06, 1989
|2009 - Tyler Ennis||2||1||2||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||6||16.7|
#42 / Center / Buffalo Sabres
Jul 24, 1987
|2009 - Nathan Gerbe||2||1||1||2||1||0||1||0||0||0||7||14.3|
#12 / Right Wing / Buffalo Sabres
Jul 11, 1985
|2009 - Mark Mancari||4||1||1||2||3||2||0||0||0||0||16||6.3|
There are number of combinations the Sabres could use with all three youngsters considered to be offensive players. They could elect to fit them in where necessary or as we have mentioned numerous times, they could play them with each other. If I were Lindy Ruff, and clearly I am not, I would put together lines like this...
Tim Kennedy-Derek Roy-Drew Stafford
Jochen Hecht-Paul Gaustad-Jason Pominville
Nathan Gerbe-Tyler Ennis-Mark Mancari
Matt Ellis-Adam Mair-Mike Grier
Kennedy had some chemistry while playing with Roy and Vanek. Stafford would replace Vanek on that line which could work perfectly since Stafford is a natural right wing and Vanek is not.
Goose would replace Connolly on what has been the Sabres best line most of the season. Goose will never replace Connolly but with Pominville and Hecht both playing well of late the line could still contribute.
The third line is obviously the "kid line". They are the wildcard because they could produce offensively or they could be a defensive liability. There is no doubt that Lindy Ruff would break them apart quickly if he notices weakness, so why not try it?